Hive Tracking Project Needs Your Support!
Managed honey bee populations are declining every year, honey production in the U.S. is at the lowest ever since USDA started keeping records in 1939, and some native bees are being considered for listing as endangered species. For beekeepers, it is becoming ever more expensive and difficult to keep bees and beekeeping businesses alive and healthy.
Several factors are implicated as primary causes of bee declines, most notably pesticides (insecticides, fungicides and herbicides) and pathogens (mites, viruses, bacteria, fungi). Commercial beekeepers from the Pollinator Stewardship Council and scientists from Pesticide Research Institute are working together to follow 60 beehives. We started the work in January 2014, and 4 out of 5 sample sets have been collected. The preliminary results are tantalizing. We now must finish analyzing the samples for pesticide residues and pathogen levels and then do the statistical analysis. Visit the project page to find out more and see how you can support the work.
We work to provide advocacy, guidance and tools to document the detrimental effect of pesticides on pollinators. The Pollinator Stewardship Council collects reports of bee kills caused by pesticides, provides guidance on data reporting and collection, and documents responses by local/State/Federal agencies mandated to protect managed and native pollinators.
We raise awareness about the adverse impact of pesticides on pollinators critical to the supply of food and the ecosystem. Staff and Board members raise awareness throughout the beekeeping community and with other interested groups at the local, State, regional, and national levels. We offer our support through education, documenting pesticide related bee kills, and providing local, State, and national advocacy pertinent to beekeepers.
We work to affect regulatory processes of pesticide risk assessment, label, and enforcement. Board members serve on the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee of the EPA , the Pollinator Protection workgroup of the EPA, and other state and national pollinator workgroups, task forces, and coalitions. Board members provide their expertise and experience at their own expense representing the bee industry, beekeepers, and managed and native pollinators. We work closely with the American Honey Producers Association, the American Beekeeping Federation, and the National Honey Bee Advisory Board helping to coordinate efforts across the bee industry.
The EPA is failing to protect pollinators, basing their decisions on politics and economics rather than credible science. Pesticide labeling is the law, but EPA has removed the mandatory protection language. Without mandatory protective guidelines, pollinators will be killed by pesticide misuse. The Pollinator Stewardship Council may utilize the same legal avenue used by other commodity groups. If we believe the bee industry’s concerns are not being satisfactorily addressed in relation to federal regulations we may file petitions or appeals to ensure compliance with regulations. We encourage the EPA to accelerate the timeline for the re-registration decision of neonic class of pesticides. A moratorium* must be placed on their use on bee attractive plants, until the science can be reviewed. Treated seeds must be declared a pesticide application. (*definition of “moratorium” — “a planned activity is postponed.”)
To learn more about the Pollinator Stewardship Council, please select this link ABOUT Pollinator Stewardship Council .
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